From the Archives of a Common Sensei – Volume 2: Building a Kaizen Environment

Continuing on our journey of sorting through my father’s archives, I am reflecting on the power of having him as a mentor. Over the years, I have grown to appreciate being fed small bits of information and then following the trail of breadcrumbs to wherever they may lead. This approach has my approach to life and allowed me to be more agile, adaptive, and creative in solving problems as opposed to simply accepting processes as they have been laid out before me. Volume 2 intends to drive the practitioner to discovery and growth rather than simply going through the motions.


Volume 2:  A Checklist for A Kaizen Environment

While this document from my archives includes the word “checklist” in the title, do not let that be a sticking point! In fact, these questions can lead you toward building a “kaizen” or “Lean” culture. Every section of this list of questions applies to nearly every type of organization. Admittedly, the “machines” section is more manufacturing oriented, but I have applied all the other questions in nearly every business sector and found they are fundamental in building the Kaizen (Lean) Culture. Granted, this document was produced back in 1995 prior to intense use of PowerPoint, but most of the foundational Lean principles in the United States were based on a “learn – do” practice. While hiring employees, it was preferred to hire people without relevant experience (except for skilled trades employees) to develop the desired new culture without having to undo people’s old cultural habits. Try using the questions on the document below in your work.

Max Allway


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